Oral health is something everybody usually learns at a young age, starting with your first tooth. Yearly dental exams will help keep your teeth healthy while you do your part to brush and floss daily. Without regular oral maintenance you could start experiencing bleeding gums, loose teeth, increased sensitivity, and bad breath, indicating possible periodontal disease and you should see your dentist right away.
After an examination that may include x-rays and a dental procedure called scaling and root planing, you may be given a prescription for Periostat or generic Doxycycline. This is a low dose tetracycline medication that can help to improve the conditions of your mouth, including teeth and gums. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
After your dentist has completed the scaling and root planing, you will begin taking Periostat as directed. Once in your system, Periostat will work by stopping the action of a certain destructive enzyme called collagenase. With periodontitis, this enzyme is released by your immune system and breaks down the collagen fibers of the periodontium that normally supports your teeth. This allows special infection-fighting cells to reach the site of infection around your teeth. This can be harmful to the tissue that supports your teeth and damage your gums so Periostat will reduce the activity of collagenase so your body can repair the damage to the tissue and stabilize your teeth.
The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque, a sticky film containing millions of bacteria that builds up on your teeth if you do not take care and brush often. Your immune system detects the bacteria and signals an immune response which is how your teeth become loose and your gums recede. Other risk factors for having gum disease include your age, smoking, stress, poor nutrition, and clenching or grinding you teeth.
Doxycycline may also be prescribed to treat inflammatory acne, or can be taken along with your cleansing ritual for extra help with pus-filled or cystic bumps.
Ask your doctor about any risks involved with taking Periostat while you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Discuss other medical conditions and allergies with your doctor and list any current OTC or Rx medications you take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements so it can be determined if Periostat is the best medication for you.
You may need to use a back-up birth control such as spermicide or a condom while on Periostat because it can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Periostat is best on an empty stomach so take it 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after. Keep out of children’s reach and never share any of your meds with others, even if they have the same symptoms. Continue to take Periostat for the entire treatment period, even if you feel better. Wear a good sunscreen when outdoors to avoid possible sunburn due to an increased sensitivity.